Monday, February 06, 2006

Robert Frost - Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

I had read the post by Priya last week, and this poem did strike me. Although i was lost in the flow of comments about her post. I went down my memory lane, back to school, and the dreaded study of poems and poets. What could be more scary to a school boy, his english teacher wanting to know why the poet wrote the lines he/she did, or the poet who for no better reason to than to create class and homework, goes crazy in the head and pens lines, that he/she has no clue about.

But there were a share of poems that i remember from school, and the only one i still remember word for word, line for line is the poem by Robert Frost, 'Stopping by woods on a snowy evening'. Even before studying the poem in school, i had read somewhere that Nehru had adopted the lines 'but i have promises to keep, and miles to go before i sleep', from this poem. Of course my english teacher, i think Ms. Nirmala Raja (god bless her soul), made quite an effort to rub that in as well. So that was the hook, but the lines were so simple, it was like a story, and the sinker was the choice of words he used to end each line. What a beauty. I did a search on the web, and discovered a few interpretations of the meaning of the poem. Why do people murder it so ? This is not a bible, gita or quran for us to translate and search for hidden meanings. Its a poem for gods sake. Just enjoy it.

Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods an frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I may have forgotten this poem after school, but for the movie 'Telephone', where Charles Bronson, is chasing a vagabond KGB agent, who uses the code 'miles to go before i sleep' to trigger human bombs. Wow, some radical brain was behind that movie.
Thanks again, Priya, for kindling this journey in time. And for those who dont quite get the beauty of the lines etc, drop a comment. But till then, 'miles to before i sleep, miles to go before i sleep'.

Tags: Robert+Frost, poem, snowy+evening, miles+to+go

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